Memphis teacher develops app to help students with math

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — This year’s TNReady tests showed a little more than 27 percent of Shelby County students are proficient in math. The state’s average is about 40 percent.

One Memphis teacher is working to get those numbers up.

Robin Cianchoso developed an app that will help students remember math concepts.

Cianchoso teaches middle school students with learning disabilities at St. Francis of Asissi Catholic High School.

The students are using a math app Cianchoso and her brother released at the start of this school year.

The app is new, but the concept is more than a decade in the making.

Cianchoso has been teaching for 29 years. She said she realized kids were struggling to remember math concepts.

“They end up hating math. They have anxiety about math. They stop learning math,” she said.

It’s frustrating for students, teachers, and parents.

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“I’m a learning-disabled student myself,” Cianchoso told FOX13. “I didn’t literally learn to read until I was 18-years-old.”

Cianchoso said she was told she would never go to college. But she got her master’s degree in education from the University of Memphis.

She said she knew if she could do it, she knew her students could succeed too.

Cianchoso told FOX13 there is one reason she started teaching.

“The kids. Watching them go, ‘Oh yeah, I got it,’” she said.

In order to get students to that ‘a-ha moment’, her family developed Moore’s Reminders for Math flashcards, and now all that information is in an app as well.

It shows students how to work with decimals, ratios, percentages -- everything up to geometry. It offers students notes and explainers on the process.

“I tell my students all the time, 'Don’t guess. Know. Look it up so you know.' And that’s building good math memory and eventually they don’t have to look it up,” Cianchoso said.

Cianchoso’s brother, Chris Moore, said the app they developed will have the same impact as the flashcards from 2003.

“When you get a student calling you in tears because that’s the first student that graduated from high school because they were able to use this app and they tried everything else. It changes your heart. It changes your life,” said Moore.

For more information on the app and how to sign up, click here.